HAMPTON, Va. - The City of Hampton is proposing temporarily closing access to the Settlers Landing Road eastbound I-64 ramp starting in June.
If city council passes the proposal in May, the I-64 E ramp would be closed Monday-Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. For the month of June, the access would be closed coming from Hampton University. For the month of July, access would be closed coming from Woodland.
On April 1, the city started a similar pilot program at the Mallory Street Bridge ramp. For the month of April and May, drivers can't access the I-64 E ramp Monday-Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
City spokesperson Robin McCormick said the Mallory Street Bridge closure has encouraged drivers to take Settlers Landing instead.
“The problem is not enough cars can get through the bridge tunnel. When that happens, the interstate backs up, but then the real problem is that people go through Hampton city streets and clog the streets," McCormick said. "You can’t get in your businesses; you can’t get in your driveway.”
Javon Wilkins works at Deluxe Cuts, a barbershop located on Settlers Landing Road near the I-64 E ramp.
“Around 5 p.m. or 4 p.m., it starts getting really congested. [There are] cars lined up all the way over the bridge,” Wilkin said. "It's just hard because the customers don't want to come during that time because the traffic is so crazy and hectic."
Drivers tell News 3 they're not sure the plan to temporarily close the Settlers Landing eastbound ramp will work.
“You want to get out of the traffic; you want to get home, to work. So no, I don’t think it’s going to deter them at all. I think they’re going to block these side roads," Driver Corey Jones said. "We have this college campus here; you have downtown across the bridge, so it’s going to be totally chaotic.”
The city council voted to extend the Mallory Street Bridge closure another two months. The pilot program will now end in July.